Monday, September 04, 2006


When I was younger, I often did things that might be considered a little stupid - if not outright dangerous - just to 'see what happens'. I set fire to the kitchen bench trying to burn lighter fluid directly on the hob. I blew up the microwave because I liked watching the pink lightening created by cooking tin foil in there. (I told my parents it had exploded of its own accord, but I'm not really sure they bought this...especially when my Dad found the burnt bit of tin foil in the outside bin.) I even had an radio power cable that I had cut the end off and skinned the wires down to the copper so that I could connect whatever I pleased directly to the mains. I stuck two drawing pins into an orange, wired it up and turned it on. I wanted to see if it would fry. Nothing happened. I moved the drawing pins closer together and tried again. Again nothing. I moved them closer still until they were almost touching. I ficked the switch, the orange hissed, a huge blue flash lit up the room and a handful of bright, glowing dots seemed to almost to float in the air for a moment before drifting down lazily onto the carpet. I inspected the orange: a bit of it had indeed fried and burned much to my excitement, but where were the drawing pins? Turns out the drawing pins had also evaporated in the heat, giving rise to the blobs of molten tin that I had watched drift down and, alas I now realised, burn little black holes into the carpet. I realised my special cable had to go when I stuck the wires directly into a bowl of water and flung the switch: the water bubbled violently for a moment then everything went dark. I'd managed to fuse the house electrics.
And a leopard, it would seem, does not easily change its spots. Yesterday, I began to wonder why the dishwasher needed special tablets. Special, costly tablets. Why shouldn't it work just fine with Fairy Liquid? It is after all only a box that squirts hot water at things, is it not? What possibly could be the consequences of changing the cleaning fluid? At that moment, it was clear to me that the production, promotion and, indeed, prescription of a special cleaning product for dishwashers was nothing less than a keystone in the great, big capitalist lie that I had so far swallowed whole. It's goal: to enslave the proletariat by convincing them that they must work even harder for their capitalist masters so that they might be able to afford new, improved Finish Ultra 12-in-1 Powerball wonder tablets (and their like, naturally). In my moment of wild-eyed epiphony, I seized the Fairly Liquid and filled the little tablet tray to the brim. I would be a blind fool no longer: the time had come to cast off the shackles of the capitalist slavery! I set the machine going and retired to the living room to savour the moral superiority of my rebellion with a freshly brewed Bodum of Fairtrade coffee and a slice of organic, non-GM bread.
Approximately 30 minutes later, I was plunged into darkness and silence. No lights, no telly, no power. Wandering about my now tenebrose house, I sought the cause...and found it. The dishwasher was surrounded by a spreading pool of steamy water, whilst thick, bubbly foam oozed from the sides of the door in all directions. I've tried all sorts since: I've bailed it out, I've changed the fuses, I've even tried drying it out completely with a towel. Sadly, however, it remains resolutely and irredeemably dead. And each time you try and switch it on, it flicks the main trip-switch and cuts all the power. Alas, with the price of repairs as they are today, my Fairy Liquid experiment would appear to have turned out somewhat of a false economy. I haven't yet quite decided on the best way to tell my flatemate but I must confess that I'm leaning stongly towards the 'it just blew upon of its own accord' style of explanation.
Still, I suppose I did at least get to 'see what happens' when you break the rules.


Blogger Shiny Happy Person said...

Thanks for the laugh during a tedious on-call.

7:19 pm  
Blogger vegas said...

This is one of the best posts I have read! Very refreshing. I suggest throwing the dishwasher in the outside bin and hiding in your room.

I used to empty a carton of talcum powder into the bathroom sink and slowly add cold water until it formed into a soap-like substance. Then you can experiment as you please - bleach changes the colour, shampoo changes the consistency, and spraying the whole mixture with a lit can of Lynx (or my dad's Old Spice in those days) makes the whole room smell nice.
But I never had the balls to mess with the 'leccy....

11:05 am  
Blogger Kate said...

Oh, that's priceless! Thanks for the giggle. I needed that. Hope the situation works itself out with the most minimal financial damage possible.

12:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, we do remember the micro wave,burnt carpet and various other things that "just happened" when only you were home. as for the dishwasher ,you told me ,never ever put washing up liquid in it , you must have been having a sane moment at the time .

8:02 pm  
Blogger Name withheld to protect the guilty said...

Just make sure your roommate's the next one to turn it on; that way you can shift the blame.

Great post...hysterical.

3:44 am  
Blogger The Venial Sinner said...

Thanks, guys.

Vegas: that 'lecca' as it was known in the North-East is indeed a fiercesome beast worthy of respect but when you used to playing hide and seek round the generators down the 'lecca board' as a kid it seems a whole lot more friendly.

Name Withheld: I did think of that, but that would just be cruel.

8:05 pm  
Blogger howling said...

That is just a minor set back my friend. I hope you are not about to give in to bourgeois mentality just yet. Continue fighting the capitalist beast for the sake of the whole proletarian class...

1:02 am  
Blogger Note said...

Bwaaah ha-ha-ha-hahaha.

7:14 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home